Enterprise hits and misses - bring on the humanizing work debate, as Apple's new iPhone brings the 5G circus to town
- This week - has COVID forced a necessary humanization of work? The debate is joined. Remote work versus "back to work" employers continues on - right into the whiffs section. As does Apple's new "5G" iPhone - which comes with a major asterisk, at least in the U.S.
Lead story - Humanizing work post-COVID
MyPOV: Are we moving away from a "transactional" workplace? If so, that would be one of the good stories we wrestle from these adverse times.
Janine takes the matter up in Humanizing work post-COVID - get radical, share more and go deeper. She quotes Brian Kropp, Chief of HR Research at Gartner:
What has really accelerated with COVID-19 is the sense that that deal is changing and is shifting from being a transactional deal, where I give you my effort and I get your money (from an employee perspective), to a much more humanized deal.
Kropp cites three characteristics of a humanized workplace:
- Radical flexibility (not just where you work, but how much).
- Shared social purpose.
- Forging deeper connections with employees.
Another interesting point: we need more data on workers to tailor an individual work plan for them. Kropp says its a shift from analytics on the workforce, to better data on each individual.
I wish I shared the optimism on this topic. The way I see it, to strike a better deal, you need leverage. Right now, employers have most of it. Ask Amazon delivery drivers about "radical flexibility" sometime. But - this does give exceptional employers a framework. Flexibility on how much you work is dreamy, but flexibility on location - that part just might stick. Companies that aren't obsessed about seeing you in the office will embrace it (more on that in the whiffs section). Not because they are embracing a human workplace, but because the cost savings are undeniable. Nothing like saving money to force change.
Meanwhile, if we're going to humanize the workplace, bro culture needs to peace out. Cath addresses that in Ada Lovelace Day - tackling the toxic tech 'bro culture'"
Ada Lovelace would be horrified by several studies revealing the amount of harassment female tech workers face on a daily basis.
With the prevalence of incidents Cath reports on here, the question of what to do looms large. Can't get away from structural change:
To really be sustainable, Kapin believes a shake-up is required at the organisational level. This includes an “overhaul” of the way HR works and the creation of a more diverse board at all levels, so not just in terms of gender, but also in areas such as race and age too.
A truly "humanized" workplace isn't going land in our lap. Better get crackin'...
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices:
- Zoomtopia 2020 - Zoom becomes a platform, for apps and for paid meetings - Phil on a Zoomtopia that brought some significant product news, and big clues on Zoom's long term ambitions.
- Chick-fil-A is using Tableau to find nuggets of gold in the COVID-19 economy - Derek picks a winning use case from Tableau's recent online event.
- Twilio buys into CDP market with $3.2 billion Segment acquisition - "The move will create a new challenger to incumbent customer relationship and engagement vendors including Salesforce, Adobe and Microsoft." As for Phil's comment on my CDP-buzzword-phobia. I've given up on that one, Phil - professional help is on the way..
Unit4 - Experience4U roundup - Unit4's annual user conference went virtual, with diginomica as an editorial event partner. Here's a couple keepers - you can also check our full Experience4U collection.
- Experience4U - Unit4 launches ERPx for the 21st century - Den
- Experience4U - Eurofins shifts to a continuous employee engagement model in testing times - Stuart
A few more vendor picks:
- Salesforce Live - how Fenwick tapped into Commerce Cloud to turn its stores into online e-commerce fulfilment centers - Stuart with one of several notable use cases from the Salesforce live event.
- Customers weigh in on budgeting and planning in 2020, and the impact of the intelligent GL - a Sage Intacct Advantage preview - Jon
- Arm aims to be the hardware foundation that spans HPC to cloud to edge environments - Kurt
Virtual event reviews - some (unexpected) high points from SAP shows - good virtual events have been as rare as a
YouTube video without invasive, faux-personalized ads Thylacine sighting, but Den and I caught good ones recently, each with lessons other vendors can/should apply.
- The overlooked potential of industry-focused virtual events - an ASUG life sciences example - Jon
- ItelliFest 2020 - a good example of the virtual tech event experience - Den
Jon's grab bag - will the issue of problematic software (over)pricing get a fresh look in pandemic times? We can only hope - $aa$ customers deserve better. Den explains how SAP's Bob Stutz sparked this debate in SAP's Bob Stutz rips off the enterprise software pricing Band-Aid as DSAG reports significant redlines in member revenue. Den tackles pricing from another angle in Teradata makes a fresh pricing play.
Den wrote about an employment contract like no other in An employment contract that will give HR a heart attack but put a smile on new hire faces (if you haven't seen the "contract," this is a must-click for you today). Finally, Neil provided context for what's stoking his AI fires in this piece, AI inevitability - can we separate bias from AI innovation?
AI inevitability - can we separate bias from AI innovation? -by @neilraden https://t.co/xM6bU3c4Zu (via @jonerp) Let me elaborate. AI industry sees AI as inevitable, solution to #bias part of their innovation, not an obstacle. Wrong. Bias is a separate current issue #aiethics
— Neil Raden (@NeilRaden) October 18, 2020
Best of the rest
My top six from the enterprise web:
- Massive New Phishing Campaigns Target Microsoft, Google Cloud users - clever bottom feeders using email tricks to sleaze into action.
- Virtual appliances - a security shitshow - yep, we've got our enterprise headline-of-the-week award winner...
- 6 Keys to CRM Success - "Always position the conversation around ‘WIFT’ – What’s in it for them?" Good luck getting me to use WIFT in a sentence. At least the idea behind it holds up.
- The state of AI in 2020: Biology and healthcare's AI moment, ethics, predictions, and graph neural networks - A chat with the authors behind a monster AI report. As for healthcare's AI moment - now would be a good time, wouldn't you say?
- A radical new technique lets AI learn with practically no data - MIT Technology Review on one of the holy grails of modern AI - machine learning with small data sets. Only downside - the research is still early/unproven, which you'd never know from MIT's blustering article title.
- Where Is the Complexity of Modern Software Coming from? – by one of the most original enterprise writers, David Cassell.
With the onset of Apple's new "5G" phones, the 5G circus continues. As per Techdirt:
One survey this week found that nearly 50% of smartphone owners think they already have 5G. The general consensus among consumers so far is one of confusion, probably not helped by AT&T's longstanding decision to pretend 4G is 5G.
Ya think? For those who bought a
pandemic hood ornament new iPhone just for the 5G, I just hope you don't live in the U.S., where 5G is as slow as Vermont maple syrup.
Remote work isn't for everybody. The airlines (American and now United), have been helpfully warning us that Zoom isn't good for business - getting back onto planes is. Despite not even blocking off middle seats. As per ZDNet:
For now, however, his airline has to focus on leisure travelers, customers who haven't always been treated with assiduous care by many airlines.
Can I get another "ya think?" I got snarky about a goofy work-from-home dress code study:
I'm sure they can get employees to be even more productive if they not only dress up, but get in their cars and drive around for 30 minutes to simulate a commute. https://t.co/UBVt91KVIF
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) October 13, 2020
Then there are the
culture mall cops beauty bozos over at L'Oreal, trying to compel frightened employees back to a premature office return. They must have a pretty good reason for getting employees into cubicles, right? How about:
The world of beauty is not a remote or virtual one.
But evidently the "world of beauty" is compatible with transmitting viral diseases. Nice job - you have to try pretty hard to lose the plot this completely. So much for that "humanizing workforces" thing...
All is not doom and gloom, however. The pandemic has its heroes also, fools they may be:
Jetpack Sighted Again Above Los Angeles, This Time at 6,000 Feet https://t.co/EIa4oqbVWM
"Sightings at such high altitudes are surprising, given that most jetpacks are not equipped to fly for more than a few minutes, or to go very high."
-> most creative use of pandemic time?
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) October 15, 2020
See you next time... If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.